Chapter 6 - EFU: Sands of Intrigue - Rumors, Gossip & Tales of the Desert

Started by whyemmdee, February 13, 2023, 04:13:41 PM

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::[Maribeh 9, IY 7787]::

Fleeting policies and outlandish proclamations flood the office of announcements. Drowning out what seems to be a mundane and calm period of time with scandal and strangely forward admission. Even the street beggar catches wind of a plot to sack Qadira.

However, actions forthcoming and secrecy illuminated do not at all relate to this. Instead, it is eventually made public that a military injunction was poised to deal with a risk of control over the Osmani Canal. This, secrecy, to the distain of many organizations of the well and their members.

Quote from: Wastewide Sending by Sgt Rennik ColmesThis is Sergeant Colmes speaking. Earlier this week, it was brought to the attention of the Fourth Legion that the Thousand Clans were planning a hostile takeover of the Osmani Canal. War machines, siege engines, foul works of sorcery and alchemy, all t'be brought t'bear against our people.

The combined forces of the Fourth Legion, the Banda Rossa and the Sisterhood of the Sibylline Vine put aside their differences to delve deep into the underground network of these howling orcs and bring an end to their workings, ensuring the continued safety of Ephia's Well. They are t'be applauded

Should the Legates seek a more thorough debriefing, I can be found within the Garrison fer a time. Live and drink.

Upon the Steele, Warad sits by vote of the voiced that Sol Auk take action. And word of this and, many things, spread quickly.


::[Maribeh 25, IY 7787]::

The messenger Warad brought swiftly warnings of utmost danger and curse to those that would listen. Of agents working ever against stability just beyond.

The capture of Twindari Shahlil came just so swift. Backroom promises and deals perhaps saw no bounty claimed for their capture or otherwise, but them walking bravely to their own trial.

It is unknown if they would have, had the verdict and sentencing been given prior. To die by Ash Storm, and suffer crucified in place. It was crudely done however, and with haste.

As Shahlil suffered the storm of ash, the post sundered and broke, as all others fled into the shroud for safety. Easy come, easy go.

In temples and shrines of Kula a devastated figure, haunted by something mostly unseen, drifts from location to location in panic. Mummers of a painted one, and an exiled Once-Sister of the Priory spread like wildfire.

The exacts even now are hazy. Some trappings of brooking, but the honest facts lost. Regardless, some large cobalt coated and iron jar is spoken to have been thrust into the crater of Hufaidh.

Not all that walked the path to  save the woman returned, and rumors yet of what even happened are more confusing than the event that lead up to it.

The election for the empty Legate Seat has begun, The Warrior, Agaslakku upon the Steele. Battle has already begun in back rooms and upon the desert sands. It is yet to be seen if the quick rotation of devotion is appreciated, as the turning of the wheel, or something to bring the ill temper of Agaslakku onto the heads of those that might taunt them.


Tabbah 18, IY 7787 - A Crisis is Ascertained

For the last weeks rumours have swung around the well, passing from mouth to mouth. Shared in Coffee Houses, through mizzar smoke, in the quiet cloisters of the Temples.

Hushed talk, unguarded, spread the knowledge across the Plaza, so that by the moment that it was discussed in the Assembly, the vastness of the crisis was already known.

A great caravan of refugees is in the Waste.

The expedition of Lieutenant Colmes returned aboard the ashsail True Believer, with haunted eyes and sunken features. A day later, a grim and confusing proclamation was made.
The refugees were coming to the Well. And they claim to hold the fabled Chalice in their possession. The very Cup of B'aara.

The Dakhwar.

To even say it aloud seems bizarre, outlandish, surreal. A folk-tale manifest upon the bellows.

Almost immediately can be witnessed an upsurge in acts of faith. Street-preachers speak in terms not seen for ten years, or more.  Of the promised renewal of the world, and the Pilgrim that shall wield the Cup.

The educated scoff in public, affecting languid disinterest. In the Krak des Roses, the Balladeers of the Lost Hearth dare to hope.

Further strange tidings to those of the Outer Rings - a resurgent Sibilant Empire fields an army somewhere out in the Wastes. It is said they threaten the caravan, a few weeks march away.  More remarkably still, it is said they are laid by Constantine Diakos, the great traitor Legate.

Amidst such chaos, tired powers yawn, stretch, and ready themselves for the tumult to come.

i walked one morning to the fair


Tabbah 25, IY 7787

Sweltering Tabbah wanes. So much dust is in the air, occluding the eyes. Politics, as ever, rages wanton - little care for the comings and goings of fate.

This is baser stuff. Ambition, desire. The very need of it. In the dark corners of the Krak, across the Plaza, ensconsed within the Pyramid itself..

Above the Citadel, the Ecstatic Terrace hangs in the sky. Marvel among marvels. A slice of Baz'eel, suspended miraculously in the air.

From that Palace the voice of the Princess Faziima is carried upon the winds..

"People of the Well, most beloved Satrapy. First among the territories, and vouchsafe of our strength. Hear me!

Ten years ago, we were delivered into tumult. The Great Rings, which held a whole world within them, fell. Broke apart. Ruin followed thereafter.

Great numbers came screaming across the Wastes. Traumatized, harrowed. In great numbers they came, convoys without hope. Gates were closed. Inns were shuttered. Potentates and the humble alike turned their eyes away from them, from you.

All save here, save for the Well of Ephia.

The great quality of the Mother is Mercy, good people. She is gentle. She is kind. She uplifts the weak and the wretched, and says - 'drink then of my tears.' Ten years you have endured here. You have grown, come to call each other neighbour. You have made of this place a Citadel.

Baz'eel does not sleep. Where the Well groans, she hears. When the Well is imperilled, Baz'eel draws her sword, which shines. She hath noticed this caravan in the Waste. She has heard tell of their promises, of their faith, of what they purport to carry with them. And in such numbers..

Baz'eel has resolved to act.

This convoy, this caravan is a threat that imperils not merely you, Ephia's Well. Nor merely Baz'eel. It promises to overturn the fragile peace we here in the Great Ash Desert have wrought since the Ringfall.

My father, o! He, so glorious - of great wisdom, subtlety of thought. Heir to the White Spear, and rightful suzerain of the whole Great Ash - has instructed me to invoke a right not used in an age, or longer. We have summoned the powers to Congress.

At the Pass of Kardesler, in a week hence, shall we meet, we powers of the Great Ash. There to discourse upon this crisis, and settle upon a resolution most swift.

As is ancient rite, this gathering is open to all subjects. As was demanded by Izdu, when he appeared to the Prophet Salhin in his dreams. Let it never be said that the Sublime Garden does not uphold the old ways.

One week hence, at old Kardesler. There we shall settle this, and act as one - such as it was in the time of the Great Caliphs al-Maribid. Praise the Mother! Praise Izdu, and his friend Warad. The Wheel turns. Glory to Baz'eel."
i walked one morning to the fair


Illul 1st, IY 7787

Report arrives from beyond the Valley of Wisdom where the great powers of the desert gathered at an ancient site. Reposed in the Canyon of Kardesler, a structure of ancient days. Where the Caliphs once held court over their satrapies and dominions. Where voices argued, proclaimed, denounced, debated, commanded, and resolved.

Silent for a long age. Cracked and ancient. A crumbled throne with seats about the dais.

For Baz'eel came Princess Hasheema at the command of the Sultan, his youngest daughter, driven and fair, of renowned compassion and charity.

For Qadira-on-the-Sea came the Maharaja Ravindra Namahedu, resplendent in his plundered glory and flanked by his Raja Guard, bearing tigers' coats.

For Kha'esh came its great and terrible Vizier, Azarmidokht the Golden, archmagister of immense repute and power. Shaming, by his arrival among them, the Exiles of Q'tolip.

For Ephia's Well came the Legate Marcellus Saenus, recently appointed to the seat won by the League of Purple after the terrible assassination of Legate Zaniah Amirah, and the interim-Legate Rashid al-Rashid.

All was set for the Congress. Yet one other power was to arrive: Iron Men and Saints ascended the stairs, armor wrought of fine and heavy steel, helms bearing the immaculately crafted face of a man. All the face of the same man. They were silent. They marched in unison. As one.

For Qa'im came this strange and terrible delegation. Bearing a curious granite box.

The Congress began. All the powers sought of Ephia's Well the answer to the question of what came through the desert to meet them. Words were spoken of the Tonsure, of the refugees, of their claim to have recovered the Dakhwar, of Ibthial, of Constantine Diakos, of the Sibilant horde he leads, of the Thousand Clans that are said to march also.

Principled positions of Lieutenant Rennik Colmes of the Fourth Legion, Lyrist Lynneth Lynwarch, and Torchbearer Sephidra Niridhe were stated. It is said in hushed tones that the Fourth Legion would have cursed the refugees to die at the hands of the Sibilant. It is said the Rose would have risked flights of fancy and heroism to charge forth and slay dragons. It is said of the Torchbearers that all the Well should open its gates to an untested throng.

And dread Qa'im. By terrible artifice spoke without speaking four words that silenced, for a brief respite, the gathered Congress: "Give them to Qa'im."

The positions of the speakers for the Well were cast and recast, bickering ensued, and all principle and reason was swiftly overwhelmed by horror, disdain, argument! Sound and fury reigned over what was to be done.

And at this moment of chaos, when the Congress was near to disbanding, that at a whispered plea the Legate Marcellus Seanus rose to speak again. An old man, Izdur, he had given a long-winded tutor's speech to commence the proceedings. But now he spoke with the vim and vigor of a younger man.

With a thunderous voice and a doddering hand he demanded of the Ephians! Would Ephia's Well abandon the refugees, in dire need, to the hands of a sibilant horde? Would Ephia's Well permit the traitor Diakos to threaten her again?

And with tears in the eyes of some, the response to his fiery words was the swift chorus of an answer: NO.

The Well is pledged to ride forth and meet the Sibilant horde. Kha'esh has pledged a squadron of mages. Qadira has pledged... warships? And perhaps, sundry goods to provision these thousands in their new home. At what cost, one wonders?

But that is a question for another day. The bells toll out a call to arms. The Banda Rossa sharpens their swords; their Grandmaster shall surely order them out. The Balladeers compose their storied songs. The Sisters their hymns and poetry. The Fourth Legion seeks about the armory and prepares as only a Legion can to muster. The Astronomers, disdained as followers of the Exile at the Congress, retreat to their tower... but shouts of support were heard among their number also.

An incredible thing wrought by an unlikely man. For now, in one brief moment, the Well is united.


Illul 30–31, IY 7787

The road from Kardesler led inevitably to one destination: War. And what a terrible thing it was.

Over the past month, the Well spent its time in a fitful struggle to prepare itself for the conflict. The very conventions of Asterabidian governance were put to the test as the Legates sought to push the unruly members of the accord to cooperate. And of the Legates, indeed, much can be said.

Legate Qari Alriyh, who was not in office at the time of the great meeting at Kardesler, played little to no role in the preparations. For his silence he is now equally derided as a wallflower and a coward, who did little to muster the Well to the great task. Though in truth, with the benefit of hindsight, there are those who think he emerged the wiser.

Legate Marcellus Saenus, the aged Izdur who had rallied the disparate peoples of the sands and the Well, took to the task of preparing the Well with the energy of a much younger man. He held councils, pushed the Accord to prepare, and did his utmost with limited resources to make an unwarlike people ready to face the sibilant. In the end, he took the field directly, and commanded the battle. For all his work, for good or ill, this was to be remembered as Marcellus' war.

The great host departed the Well on Illul 30th, IY 7787. The Janissaries in their legion, the Astronomers with great arcane preparations made, and the Cinquefoil Rose amid clattering swords and storied songs.

Through ash and ruin they trudged toward the battlefield-to-be. A sundered ringwall passed. On a blasted hill the Well's army met a caravan wounded and reduced by repeated sibiliant attack. On their last legs, thousands reduced to hundreds, the Tonsure parlayed. A great man of inhuman stature, half again as tall as an ordinary man, he listened in silence as bandied words were joined between the Legate, the people of the Well, and the ruins of his court. When he could bear it no longer, he spoke again: "ENOUGH." And the Tonsure made a promise. If his people were saved, if the Well would fight, then he would give them that storied thing he carried: "DAKHWAR."

The very word, resounding in the ruins, brought all to silence.

And march they did. Diplomacy, a brief attempt to come to terms with Constantine Diakos, was a non-starter. The sibilant demanded surrender and enslavement; the Well rebuffed them. And both sides marshaled to battle.

Upon the western flank, in a series of trenches, the Fourth Legion took up arms. Jannisaries freshly minted, led by Sergeants, made ready their positions upon an ancient battlefield.

Upon the center, atop a great hill, a scant few Astronomers and great many of the people of the Well prepared to defend a great ritual. Much had been whispered about their preparations and they had brought a device of strange power with them, fueled by baubilium.

Upon the eastern flank, within a long-dead forest, the Cinquefoil Rose hung their banners and chanted a mighty war-song. Six of the Banda Rossa, Four of the Balladeers, and one of the Sibylline are said to have made their stand there.

Even farther east, Battlemages from Kha'esh would hold against dragons and wyverns in the mountains. Their terrible Vizier resplendent in his power.

The Thousand Clans, who had died in droves to offer of alliance to the Well, rejected a painted banner of a groknak skull as inadequate to the real article. A single rider paraded their own, mocking banner, and left the Well-folk to fight their war alone.

Qadira's promised fleet of ships was nowhere to be seen. There was no water for them to sail upon, in any case, and more than a few imagined the Maharaja laughing from his piratical court.


The odds were great. Sibilant banners upon the hills in three great formations. Flying columns of land-bound lizardriders and flying wyvrens with sibilant knights readied to put every one of them to the sword. Marcellus, in command from the rear, watched on as the battle lines took form. The Torchbearers his runners and scouts upon the field, his eyes, and what they would come to see!

The Janissaries fought as only a legion can. Keeping to the trenches, slogging in the ash turned to quagmire by the blood of dying man and lizard both, they held as long as they could. The lizards came in numbers, commanded by a shadowed monstrosity: General Sllyssyr the Gaoler. And at last the Janissaries were forced back from their western trenches, rallying to the great hill upon the center.

The Rose kept the ragged edge of their position on the dead forest firm. Raging against their foe, which came upon the ruins of a barricade en masse, and with shadowed strikes from the flanks, Banda Rossa steel stood with Balladeer heroism and Sibylline vision to keep that front from collapsing. Only when the Sibilant focused forces that were originally on the west, General Sllyssyr joining the sorcerer-General Shr the Glorious in massed assault against the battlements, did a Cinquefoil champion fall and their lines at last break. The Rose, too, retreated and rallied to the great hill upon the center.

Of the center little can be said but the tumult was terrible. A great open field, a killing ground, where the lizards used their advantage of numbers to terrible effect. Fifteen or more had died by the time the Janissaries rallied and joined that fray, and another ten were gone by the time the Cinquefoil did the same. All the Well assembled for one great, last stand against their bloodied foe.

In this moment, the Astronomers called down that red star. A thing of blood and horror descended upon the world, scattering tonnes of ruin from the Well to the desert and to the battlefield. The scene glowed red and the lizards died in droves as the Sibilant drums beat the call to charge.

General Sha-Trol, of the Profane Union, a three headed monstrosity ten times the height of a mortal man, took the field alongside Shr and Sllssyr. The survivors of the Well routed, rallied, routed again, rallied again, and died upon a field in a dozen little wars that can hardly be imagined for their ferocity. All was chaos. Heroes died. Kha'esh descended and rained fire upon the lizard and the battlefield. And for all the blood, all the carnage, the tide turned. The sibilant generals, slain.

The battle was won on a knife's edge. There was no remaining fight to be had. Crying "FOR THE SHAME", great men in the image of the Tonsure's own stature walked forward through the routing lines of the sibilant. Their aims were inscrutable. They spoke little of their purpose. It is said they came for a dozen things, but their eyes were fixed, implacably upon the court of the Tonsure.

Yet, whatever they wished, these mysterious men would not have it. The Tonsure was gone from his holdfast. Only his court and his refugees remained. They would go to the Well. To the outskirts. Before the Gate of Roses in their throngs. The Well would keep its promise.

The army marched home, heroes, but with a victory purchased at a terrible price.


A great red wound has been dealt to the world. Celestial rock descended upon the shade and shattered it. Though it is now restored, ash poured through in gouts and has buried much of the Well. The Astronomers are half-reviled, half-feared for what they have done. The architect of this horror, Mae Stern, is derided as "Meteor Mae" by some, called a mass-murderer by others, and a shortsighted fool by most.

The Cinquefoil Rose and Janissaries alike lick their wounds; the Banda Rossa's entire contingent, slain, while the Balladeers' Lyrist Lynneth Lywarch died a hero in her last stand upon the central hill. They have both been cut to the quick.

The Third Legion was forced to rally to the Well itself and fight off an attack. Already, there is discord between the cavalry of the "Fighting Third" and the Fourth.

The Well now looks to rebuild. To dig out from this tragedy.

But what to make of that red star?

And what to make of dread Qa'im?

And where is the Tonsure and his storied Cup?

The Wheel turns on.


Maps of the battlefield are on display in the Krak des Roses courtesy of the Balladeers. One Narwen Alendiel, a veteran of the conflict, is said to have prepared them.

First, the course that the army took into the ashen wastes:

Second, the battlefield itself and the disposition of the forces of both sides:


Tesrin Hray 13th, IY 7787,

The month of Tesrin Hray was a bitter one. Following the many losses of those that ranged beyond the Wastes to the broken fortress and at last to a man upon the Red Hill still have their songs sang and prose recounted. The toil and the effects of the devastation and turnabout in the ranks and order of the Accord are still yet felt even as new leaders and shapers make names for themselves.

Tested mettle is ironed out as War Legate Marcellus Saenus continues his tenure. Out doing his would be rivals despite numerous outrage and scandal to how the war effort was handled, and worse yet, whispers of possible actions by Qa'im. How muted and muddled the results of this conflict could be a sign of proper recovery efforts, or a waning interest by the public. Regardless, outspoken followers of the White League still decry certain atrocities committed.

Following suit, various uncertainties and potential calamities unfolded in the interest of certain knowledge. The Torchbearers, a group of loosely affiliated explorers, adventurers, graverobbers, or outright sociopaths depending upon whom you ask, become word of contention and rumor frequently as misfortune and ancient evils seem to spring from all matter of traps they spring.

The Beast, The Blood Horror unleashed from the Vault, "The Centuries of Thirst". Such things are posed to them as foolish and risky endeavors released for but crumbs of knowledge hoarded. And to what use of the Well? Many of these plights are seemingly alleviated due to the efforts of the Acord, but who can truly be certain?

In the lower drenches and dust and ruin filled underbelly of the City, a war hero is cut down by a former soldier of the Sultan's Fourth Legion Janissary. Sergeant Joachim Sathuul is whispered to have lost their life in pursuit of Leander Nifkil, the Throater, as some have come to call them for their method and means to find victims. Some whispered panic and considerable blame for any and all death and dismay begin to circulate as possible victims of this rogue.

Most recent upon the air and in conversation is the election of Legate to replace the absent Legate Qari Alriyh. While a much calmer election than past. Each League has made their showing and a new Legate will be in offices to navigate the end of Tersin Hray.


::[Kanon Hray 21st, IY 7787]::

At a time when doors are opened to all guests, certain public relations with foreign entities are strained and flexed as required of them. Conflicts swirl with Ephia's Well being caught between much of it. Legate Domhnall Guivarch of the White League is elected and jointly with incumbent Legate Marcellus Saenus of Purple, do they navigate much of the difficulties of their stations to mixed results and various disagreements:

QuoteKanon Hray 15th, IY 7787. The events of yesterday linger heavily in the minds of those involved, not yet fading from vision, yet somehow muggy, soft-edged. A dream. From the mercenary band's arrival and demand of Hephaestus of Banafsi ...

... to the discovery of an active Qa'immi drone within the Well's walls, apparently broadcasting logistical information to the enemy, and the following execution of the infamous priestess Mari Blacke.

A haze that only when observed directly, truly comes into view. There is worry amongst the citizens of the Well, of the growing number of threats beyond the borders, and within them.

Iakmes, and the Thousand Clans preparing for war. Diakos, and his Broken Host performing profane rights throughout the desert. The Archon of Banafsi, and the Pretender King Hephaestus, given succor in the Well.

And above it all, a spiders web of intrigue, of worry, of panic. Qa'im. Their arm is long, their influence seen by many in every machination, in every threat.

On a somewhat better note, Il Modo has opened routes of communications with diplomats of Ephia's Well, and generously, other notable members of the accord for talks. While some small mishap is rumored to have occurred over eel oil, nothing insurmountably negative has seemed to have taken place. Other small words whisper of dangers afforded to these new dealings and certain hushed and sensitive information. People missing, murdered, and secrets locked:

QuoteAnd then came excitement, focused on the Diplomatic Delegation sent to Il Modo, led by both Legates Marcellus and Domhnall. They were gone for some time, returning after their long journey with reports of them looking a mixture of tired, confused, and even some say - fearful.

Full details of the situation are not known by many outside of the Pyramid, with only scattered whispers of their encounters and of the wonders of Il Modo.

Accord sanctioned assaults on Iakmes' camps continue, though no full mobilisation of forces has, or perhaps ever will be, approved by the current administration. Though the orc chief seems content enough to stay within the lands of the Rampart...

... many speak with worry about the Thousand Clans and their next move.

Sightings of Sibilant forces, and of Diakos himself, seem to grow. Though many believe them simply to be misunderstood rumour, flights of fancy, or simple lies. However, again in recent days serpentine shapes have been seen, formed of crimson-green smoke, within the ash clouds.

And throughout it all, the click-clack, tick-tock of Qa'immi sightings are whispered most fearfully in the days following the revelation of what many are scared is a very large, and very sophisticated network of spies within the Well...

... while others consider these rumours to be nothing more than ignorance, turned to fear, turned to panic... threatening instability, if those grim feelings turn further, into violence.
QuoteKanon Hray 18th, IY 7787. A day of confusion, of bloodshed, and the rattling of sabres. The disappearance of two high profile citizens of the Well, who both incidentally shared the same office... Recluta 'Boots' and People's Magistrate 'Squeev', the latter of which it is said was found...

..though found beaten and bloody, in the Gutters. The Janissary scramble to investigate. Boots, however, is yet to be found. The Banda Rossa grow more and more concerned..

The arrival of strange dignitaries from Baz'eel, the whispers of a murdered clockmaker, the Well seems as a dry tinder in the wake of the death of Mari Blacke, awaiting a spark...

Another election stirs and the unrest and chance to seize power, for better or worse, breaks much complacencies the voiceless could otherwise indulge. Justice for Mro Po and fireworks filled the skies of Ephia's Well before an emergency session was held. Janissary injustices, Licensing, and the roles and complications of the Accord ever at the present:

QuoteInteresting times are surely ahead for Ephia's Well; rumors spread that an election is soon to begin for the seat currently held by Legate Marcellus Saenus. Prospective candidates flock to their Leagues and supporters, eager to curry the favor of both their patrons and the masses, beginning a five-day primary.

And so it begins

The announcement does not come as a surprise, but regardless the Leagues are a sudden flurry of activity. Officials, attache, voters, deal-makers, influential members large and small take to the streets...

The fight for the Second Seat, currently held by Legate Marcellus Saenus, is said to likely be a great battle. Though no League are yet to pick their official candidates, the streets have been awash with rumour in weeks past...

19th of Kanon Hray. The Time when All Doors are Opened, so the auspices for the month go. Yet so many cry out that they have been barred. That the business of governance happens behind lock and key. That their Voices are not heard. Ad hoc assemblies have been called that end in discontent.

In this time of uncertainty and great promise, there is still a lingering feeling of concern... these past few weeks have been fraught with danger, within and without. Murders, trials, riots. Diplomatic missions... what platform will the Candidates pick to fight upon?

Individuals of each league bustle to their halls, where candidates and constituents shuffle themselves behind closed doors. The Voiced are eager to hear the campaigns of their candidates, and the Well lights up with activity.

Already the first candidates have taken their petitions. Of Marcellus, the sitting Legate. Of Eamon, an up and comer of the League of Gold. Of the League of White, none yet step up. Who will rise to the occasion..?

The first evening of the Primaries rolls on, the League offices awash with petitioners, and lively discussion and debate, at least amongst the Leagues of Gold and White. The League of Purple office is remarkably quiet...

Quote from: Legate Domhnall GuivarchWe greet warmly the new season of elections and celebrate the liberties afforded to the Voiced of the Well. In these great days of debate, deliberation, and excitement, let us not forget the dispossessed, the Voiceless masses who teem in great throngs in this, our home.

For liberty is merely privilege extended unless enjoyed by one and all, and the system of popular government we enjoy belongs to everyone, not merely the wealthy and powerful. Do not forget them, for I say that if the lot of us should vanish, they will persist. But if they should so much as shrug...

All of this shall vanish. Regard warmly and with due respect the slumbering giant upon whose shoulders rest your works and ambitions.


::[Kanon Hray 22, IY 7787].:

QuoteAnd then a great light, pure and true, shines up from the Isle of Banafsi. So bright that even those far away, upon the Plaza of Ephia's Well can behold its glory. Lighting up the night's sky, occluding the stars. Pure sunlight, shining against the dark.

A glimmer of uncertainty shines among of Sea of Pearls. A boiling pot simmers over and rolls when the final ingredient is added to the mix. The stench of fireworks and blood, copper and bitter, drift unto Qadari's shore carried by the breeze.

Quote from: "Legate Marcellus Saenus"Many of my opponents speak proudly of what they would do, or what they intend to do, yet can you truly say that they could stand up to the same challenges that I did? Many dangers, and many threats, throwm against us, and every time I stood up to face them, and guided our Well.

Even now, at the end of my second Term, our treasury is healthier than it ever was before, and this is after a period of disaster and loss that I cannot recall before, in the Well's History. On my very first day I was told that we had nothing..

We were faced by strife, and challenges I ccould never imagine. And today, I can finally see our Well grow. A vote for Purple, is a vote for Stability, Safety and Growth, from a Man who has worked tirelessly for Ephia and its people.

Works of strife, stability, choices and gambits made for prosperity and just survival. All of these cloaked in hushed mummer and stabbing complaints levied upon the Legates of Ephia's Well. Shouldn't they do better? Could they have? Who can say, honestly.

QuoteA deep glow from the Island of Banafsi, fires still burning even now. Word carries quickly. Hephaestus of Banafsi and General Diocles have made landing upon the island, and raised a revolt against the rule of the Archonate. For now the details remain just that, hazy and inconclusive..

Some say the Archon is now dead, and Hephaestus crowned as King in her stead. Some say the revolt failed, that it was snuffed out at the very moment it sparked.

Other, more sober figures, suggest that the tale is not ended, and the Island of Banafsi is now engulfed in a fratricidal war, the type which does not end quickly or cleanly. Instead, resolving only when families are emptied of children, and friends turned into the bitterest of foes.

Civil War.

Confusion reigns tonight. Eyes towards the dying embers of the night's flames, darkly.

Kanon Hray 22. IY 7787.

Liberation Day.

The route to Banafsi is now closed.

The voices who could say are quiet now.


::Kanon Hray 24th Y 7787::

It has now become public knowledge that tenuous diplomatic relations between Il Modo and Ephia's Well have frozen almost before they began.

It is said that Legate Marcellus Saenus entered into an agreement in which Ephia's Well would recognize (for its part) the independent status and sovereignty of Il Modo as queen of the Sea of Pearls; and furthermore conduct an exchange of friendship-gifts of two barrels of well-preserved Well water in exchange for a barrel of eel oil (exchanged monthly) as well as a single cannon.

It is said that upon his return to Ephia's Well, and after consulting with his various handlers and advisors, the Legate realized that such a deal would displease the faithful of B'aara and the Grandees of the Sultan's Court, and he therefore immediately wrote back to Il Modo to break the deal that he had just freshly signed.

Reactions to this gossip is mixed. While none deny that overall this has been an embarrassing incident for the reputation of Ephia's Well diplomatic acumen, many argue that Legate Saenas was simply unaware of the ancient resentments and histories between Il Modo and Baz'eel, and that he had made good faith efforts to make a deal with very slippery foreigners who took advantage of age and good-nature to press for concessions that would displease the Sultan's court.

What, after all, are these Modini good for? Who needs them and their strange beliefs and deceptive ways of speaking, their masks and knives, their eels and cannons?

The Sea of Pearls is far distant, and the Janissaries are a highly visible reminder of the true ruler of the desert.


:: [ Subat 9th, IY 7787 ] ::

Rumor has it that the Sandstone College recently dismissed an esteemed professor of archaeology visiting from The Academy of Baz'eel. The professor is said to have led a dangerous expedition to unearth an ancient dwarven artifact which concluded in tragedy.

The journey, intended to bring great renown to The Sandstone College, instead took a sacred turn as the students laid the artifact to rest in respect of dwarven heritage. This act elevated the involved students from humble archaeologists to custodians of ancient dwarven heritage.

Tragically, the bright future of Nofri D'Ovidio, a student of promising talent, was cut short due to the expedition's mismanagement. His memory is honored by his peers.


::[Adar 20, IY 7787]::

In a close election, incumbent Legate Domhnall Guivarch barely contests a victory from Purple League candidate Sephidra Niridhe. His tenure marked with strange fits of ambition, political lectures and eel oil, it seems still that Ephia's Well has not done worse for wear because of it. Perhaps? Regardless the super majority of Purple was halted by the skin of ones teeth.

In obtuse siltation and dire panic, Legate Marcellus went missing. The clamor rang out for some days as the Pyramid of Ephia's Government went black and shadowed. Whispers and strange sights visited those to brave it is rumored before the doors were locked and sealed. The task was put to place to recover the lost Legate.

Several days later, those that went below, minus notably Sergeant Kirgan 'Caddy' Cavanaugh, and Apothar Oscar Kreutz who were felled by deranged horrors in the workings below. Details of their deaths are mixed. Tormented shades of men, brambling eldritch trappings, and Giant visage are spoken poetically, but difficult to fathom without sight.

Funerals were held, the Legate was rescued, but the mysteries below are hardly resolved.

Elsewhere, a certain map detailing the whereabouts to a frost cloaked tower is held by a man auctioning off tickets to trips within and towards it. Why exactly this tower appeared now, or much else about it is uncertain.


::[Iyar 8th, IY 7788]::

At a time when blossoms announce themselves, fixtures plant themselves into the lifeblood of Ephia's Well, below it, or find themselves uprooted altogether.

Incumbent Legate Marcellus Saenus has stepped down from office, and found themselves replaced by White League Candidate Ricario Casella, however, this super majority seems to last only a few weeks...

The tenure is mostly marked with small matters of unrest and toil. A roaming group of mercenaries are slaughtered for want of purchasing refugees and assault of the Gate of Rose. A case of arson sees a property vandalized and stolen from during the same event. Attacks upon members of the accord by cloaked and hooded figures are spoken to have grow more common. And certain accounts of violence and otherwise are not completely understood.

Another election begins, Incumbent Legate Domhnall Guivarch no longer vying for their station this time. However, what follows next was unprecedented:

The doors of the Pyramid are flung open, and from within a shackled man emerges, flanked by a squad of Janissary. Legate Ricario Cassella is in chains.

Quote from: Scribe Bashir Khatara'Ahem. Uhm... Ahem. Ephians... As is the right of our Leagues... the White League is withdrawing the Legatine position from Leg... Ricario Cassella. His Prelate, Akna Ymir, is stepping forth as the new Legate of the Second Seat...'

Following his arrest, a flurry of rumours emerge from the Pyramid. It is said that his own Prelate, aside Rosie Gumpner, Official of the League of White and others of the League, declared Ricario unfit to serve as their Legate. He was stripped of his title, and immediately arrested...

The charge?


Quote from: Akna Ymir[A young woman's voice, deliberate and stoic now in tone, sounds] Ephians, please for a moment hear me.

Yestereve I and League leadership became aware of a policy set in motion by Ricario Cassella. I believe that he acted in what interests he thought best, however the consequences were dire, and a thing we could not permit to occur.

it was his intention during the next Assembly to occupy the chamber of the Well, and seize by force control of the Waters.

This action would make red our streets. Bring surely to use war, not from an outside threat, but from within. It would tear apart this place that is for many of us our only home. Being made aware of this policy, I, our League Official, and both of our present candidates agreed that the legal option of the League of White to end his Legateship had to be exercised.

Be that as it may, Akna, the man is still determined for a trial. He has rights. You act as if he is dead already. Let him have his heyday in court.

Quote from: Sultan's HeraldLet it be known that Akna Ymir of the League of White has been raised to the position of Legate. They are to report to the Chamber of Rule to receive the badge of office from the Chief Scribe.

Ephia's Well is stunned to some manner of subdued silence. The Legate is removed, arrested... what next?

Beneath the veil, little figures scurry about. Meetings are had, the Scribes rush around having to contend with both an election, and an unprecedented removal of a Legate...

Following that a trial, for there surely will be one...

Quote from: Lieutenant Vardgul SkarnAn ashsail has been dispatched to Baz'eel. We now await the Judge's arrival. Available Janissary, to the Garrison. You are ordered to get the witness statements in expert order, and prepare to prosecute the trial. A bellows will be made once the trial is due to commence.

A large and heavily enchanted escort is seen entering the Garrison...

An ashsail returns...

Alongside the ashsail, magic carpets... familiar to some...

They descend, and from them... great and hulking Janissary. The First Legion. A score.

A tense moment, as a large force of Rosemen depart the Krak des Roses, led by the Banda Rossa itself. Each armed with enspelled, glowing weaponry. They stand off with the Janissaries of the First Legion, hulking beings who stare them down with weapons twice their size.

After several moments, the Cinquefoil Rose enters the Garrison.


Personal squabbles and teeth bearing accusations grip most of the Well. What exactly happened here, why and how? Who was telling the truth of it all, and what has fit a narrative... who is to say?


The Hall of Jurisprudence fills up...

A pair of First Legion Janissary take up positions outside. A second pair lumber in, taking up positions aside the throne...

Following in the wake of the hulking Janissary, a smaller figure. Round of belly, in a toga of dark blues and black...

The Janissary at the door barks out 'All rise for honourable and wise Inquisitor Dayaz ibn Daza!'

Testimony is laid before the B'aarat Inquisitor. The words on the paper, and spoken by the prosecution, paint a damning picture of the crime. Treason...

The verdict is swiftly given. In denying B'aara's Mercy, and in light of the evidence provided...

The Inquisitor demands his death.

In the middle of the Hall, Ricario downs a poisoned vial. In moments, he is dead.

It is a vile scene, his body twitching and convulsing


So it becomes that Prelate Akna Ymir becomes Legate Akna Ymir. No lions as the crowds roared for in the heat of the moment. Whether for justice or for bloodlust, they had this stolen of them.

Ricario Casella is Legate and Living no more.


Fragment from the Baz'eeli
Hziran IY 7788

The Banafsian Civil War grinds on into its sixth month, showing little sign of abating. News from the island remains scarce and confused. It has been reported by refugees that both sides are suffering from acute shortages of men-at-arms, their original forces having been much depleted by the ferocity of the bloodletting. 

As a result, mercenaries have flocked to the island from all across the Great Ash Desert. It is said that Modini companies favour the side of the so-called King Osiron, leading to much speculation that he enjoys the patronage of some faction within the Floating City.

Of scandalous interest to long-time readers of this paper of record, is entry of the Company of the Spear into the service of the Archon. This notorious gang, a mercenary force comprised of veterans of the armies of the renegade Ibtihal, is already developing a dark reputation of atrocity and bloodshed. Alkab has long been safe haven for Orentid renegades, but this is the first moment since the overthrow of their bandit 'queen' that they have constituted themselves into a fighting force. It is said they possess a full squadron of warships with which to assail royalist forces.

Qa'im continues to provide logistical aid to their client the Archon, but have hesitated in deploying its Remade Legions in direct support of her regime. Nervous factions at the Sublime Garden are said to speculate privately of the consequences for international peace if one side were to gain a decisive edge.

Rumour spreads that a great battle has been fought in the Wastes between the Thousand Clans and the hosts of the so-called 'Neo-Sibilant Empire'. Ash-Sail pilots report witnessing the aftermath of a terrible struggle, with great corpse-pyres burning over a stretch of miles. If these reports prove accurate, it is likely that a decisive blow has been struck in the war between the two barbarian entities, a tremor which will doubtless have ripples towards the civilized world.

Which side came out the victor, this newspaper is presently unable to venture.

Residents of the Tablet of Baz'eel were stunned when the Kulamet Hospital revealed to the Evrensel that they have been caring for a boy with two heads. The child, known only as A, is twelve years old and apparently in training for the Kulamet Priesthood. Only one of the heads is verbal, with the other being entirely mute.

It is rumoured that this second head has powers of divination, especially pertaining to matters of agriculture and animal husbandry.

Since the City of Crucibles' stunning seizure of the great fortress of Korumak, all Baz'eeli society have looked west with fretful eyes. As is now well-known, with the loss of the fortress Baz'eel lost its final territory upon the west bank of the Edutu, allowing the Qa'immi to ford the river unopposed if they should so desire.

Of course, in spite of the climate of fear, this newspaper is certain that no Ashfolk – albeit heretical – would strike a blow of aggression against a sibling, however estranged they might be. 

It's that time of year again! Osman the Sixth, blessed be his name, is hosting his annual Feydsiyyari bacchinalia. Get your tickets before they leave. Party like it's IY 6448!

Ghalish is Here For You, and You, and You.

i walked one morning to the fair